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Nelsan Leon Ellis was an American film and TV actor and playwright. He was probably best known for his role as Lafayette Reynolds in the HBO television series True Blood and Shinewell Johnson on CBS' Elementray. He also had roles in several films, such as Martin Luther King Jr. in the 2013 adaptation of Lee Daniel's The Butler.

For Disney, he played Eddie Sweat in the 2010 sports biographical drama film Secretariat and Henry the Waiter in the 2011 Touchstone Pictures adaptation of The Help.

Ellis died on July 8, 2017 of a heart failure due to complications of alcohol abuse. He was 39 years old.

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